Sunday, 23 August 2009

Pay It Forward

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving a Pay It Forward gift from Lorraine at The Balancing Kiwi. It was this most gorgeous owly

She is wonderful! And puts my sewing efforts to shame, have been studying closely to get some tips!! My daughter has named her Brenda :O) Thank you so much Lorraine!!

Now to fulfill the conditions I have to offer to make something to 3 of my readers. So if anyone would like a little handmade something from me then put a comment at the bottom and I will get cracking. You do have to promise to do the same and make for 3 more people each. I think that's right anyway. I'll keep the comments hidden like Lorraine did aswell until I have 3 victims, er I mean friends ;o)

Monday, 17 August 2009

It's been a week already!!

Where did the week go??

We've been doing a bit of zipping about now that we have a car again. Nice to be mobile again. We went to Past Times on Friday having seen the website (Dh was after a union jack cushion) and although we didn't find one, we picked up some of those packs with replica war ephemera in it. Got a car one for my DS and a childrens war one for my DD. This is what is in the Childrens War pack (not the shoes!!) which I thought was loads!

Hubby picked up a guinness mug. He really loves guinness memorabilia and especially the Toucan stuff, so it goes well with what I'm trying to achieve everywhere. You can see it here (just!)with a Johnson Bros green dawn coffee pot I got at a new charity shop last weekend for £1 and a Tala measuring cone I'd been eyeing up and found for a quite reasonable £4 something in Dunelm.

Also managed to pick up some new crochet hooks in Dunelm as I keep losing mine. Think I need to make myself a crochet holder like I did for the swap, so little time though!! One day. So I've been getting on with my granny square cushion which has been ignored for ages as I couldn't find the hook. It'll be down the side of the sofa or something!

The library came up trumps with some good books

I really like this sewing book, lots of nice projects.

And I've been pouring over this book - love the forties, my fave era at the moment. I'm hoping my Lovefilm subscription will send me the dvd of it soon.

Some thanks are due from some lovely ladies on the Shabby Chic Cafe (or the sugababes cafe as my dd calls it!). First I had bought some fabric at auction from Lacey and she so very kindly sent some extra bubbles fabric and a lovely brooch too.

Then Dimity sent me this fab knitting booklet which I have loved looking through. Planning on knitting a golly at some point. Thanks so much ladies!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Hallway makeover

I finished the hallway the other day. I hadn't intended to do anything here at all, but when I did up the chest of drawers and decided to put it at the bottom of the stairs instead of at the top as I had originally thought, it seemed the next logical step to give it a quick tart up!

It's only a small space, and I have a husband who has lots of shoes and jackets (ahould be the other way round surely?) so it gets cluttered really quickly. I also didn't have anywhere for scarves and gloves so every winter I'd have to buy new ones again. Not good.

Anyway, some pics.

This is pretty much it!! Haha, it is *very* small! We got a new doormat at the weekend. My hubby spotted it in Matalan and wanted it so I 'let' him!! Lolol, he does like the UJ thing. This isn't a great pic due to the light that comes into the door, but I also made some bunting for the door out of some stray Sarah Smith cloths, nice and easy. Unfortunately hubby doesn't like the bunting so not sure if it will stay or not. You can just see the drawers in the foreground and I've put the decoupaged Ikea drawers on it too to hold mail that comes in. To the right you can see some shelves that were a general dumping ground and every time I opened the door things fell off. Something needed to be done.

I decided to line the shelves with the Focus wallpaper and I painted up an old cork noticeboard. I realised that I actually don't have that many pretties to put on shelves, never been a thing I've bought much of. But I found one of my many camper van models which looks ok! I could still see the dark wood shelf underneath the paper though so decided to attach a bit of gingham ribbon to finish it off. Not sure if it will stay on though. We'll see. I laminated some of the wallpaper for the bottom shelf which has the shoes on so I won't need to worry about it all getting dirty.

I think that although it's not perfect, it's a huge improvement. If it helps me keep it tidy it's worth it too!

Note to self - buy more pretties!!!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Adorable Vintage Kids Books

I love books. There I said it. I have way too many, especially for our little house. I need a bigger house just to keep the books in!

I have started to collect Enid Blyton books, I'd actually got a couple in my collection already. My absolute favourite is the one without the dust jacket.

It's called Enid Blyton's Book of the Year. I can't remember who recommended it to me first but as soon as I got it I loved it, it felt twee and old fashioned but I actually liked that. It has stories, poems, music, a part work story all based around each month and the nature around us then. I've read bits lots to my kids and they really like it too.

I was looking at it the other day and realised that it is over 60 years old! That is just mind blowing.

Here's the inscription

It was given at Christmas 1948.

I don't know if you can see but it has a bit on the bottom about it being printed in the authorized economy standars which is to do with the rationing that was still around. I only spotted this as I was reading a book about wartime britain and wondered if this book had it printed in and it did.

The book that was on the top of the pile was my latest book and a very special one as it had been kindly sent to me by Simone at Little Pink Lady. It's a lovely book and just right for my youngest to read, she's just getting fluency and I think she'll love it. Simone was overly kind and sent me some lovely Sarah Smith cloths too - I love these cloths and shall add to my growing collection (might have to clean at this rate!). Thank you so much!

I thought I'd share a couple of other old fashioned type books that we love in this house.

First off are these Little Bear books

There's a cartoon based on the books, not sure if it is still on NickJr. It was when mine were much littler and I used to love watching them with the kids. Most cartoons are awful, and this was too to some extent, but I loved the old fashionedness of it all. Always sucks me in!

And these are my favourites. I think they were originally published in the 30's but are still in print now. They are american, but really I have some lovely picture books from America. I could list so many more, but I won't I'll just share these by the same author. If you like scotty dogs as much as I do then you'll adore the Angus one. I have another, called Angus and Wagtail Bess (with an Airedale terrier) but couldn't find it in time to take a picture

If you ever come across books by this author they are just lovely, timeless books. Here's a picture from inside the Angus Lost book:

How cute??

All I can say is it's a shame children have to grow up, I could buy kids books forever!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Cupcake swap - sent

I'm still very new to this swapping lark, but here's what I sent Louise at SnuggleShack for the cupcake swap at the ShabbyChic Cafe. I know she's recieved it now so I can show you all. I only took one picture, and well you're lucky you got that as I'm good at forgetting!

This was also the first time I'd sent any of my sewing for use by anyone other than me (oh except my mum's cushions, but she's my mum, she'll not think bad of me!!). I made a crochet hook roll out of some cupcake fabric, and a tissue holder out of the same stuff with some nice CK tissues inside.

I knitted a dishcloth with a cupcake on and crocheted a little cupcake. Now I was gonna stuff this but my daughter thought it looked better open so you could put little bits inside so I went with what the boss said ;o)

There was some pretty cupcake cases and sprinkles, a cupcake coaster I picked up in York and finally I tried my hand at making some little cupcake buttons out of Fimo. I think they turned out ok, although not sure how strong they would be.

I struggled a bit with this swap, I searched and searched loads for nice stuff to add but couldn't find much and my crafting is only so so (and I'm very slow at it too!). Of course going round TKMaxx yesterday I saw loads!! It never seems very much when I send stuff, I look at other swaps sometimes and think - oh that looks lovely, and then there's another 5 photos of more stuff!!

Been fixing up my hallway today and adding some pretty bits to it, I'll take some photos tomorrow and show you once it's done.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

And another!

makeover that is :O)

This chest of drawers has been sat in our garage for so long now, it was falling apart and I was going to freecycle it, but then didn't. I have so much furniture that doesn't really have a place in this house. We've been here 3 years nearly but it's still got furniture from a much bigger house in it. I want to move again so don't want to spend lots on getting smaller bits that fit better, only to move as soon as I bought it. But maybe I should have done it ages ago! Oh well.

Anyway, I have no before pic, but I'm sure you can imagine what it would be like before! Really this is an inbetween picture as I still need to sand the top properly and I need to wax it all. I didn't distress the paint as I have a feeling it won't take long to get naturally distressed in this house!

I also need to find some nice handles for it. Or I may paint these if I can't find anything I like soon enough. I'm going to add some hooks on one side so that the kids can hang their coats on it (it's in the hallway). Hopefully it will hold all our scarves and gumpf that lands in the hallway and makes it look a mess.

I need to get making some pretty things to hang off the drawers don't I? Argh! Need more time!!!!

I've also lined the drawers with some gorgeous wallpaper I picked up from Focus today which lots of bloggers have been raving about. It's reduced to £5 a roll and very CK'ish. I foresee lots of rooms being decked out in it. Not ours sadly though :O( Hate renting houses!! Although I know I should be grateful I have one :O)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Makeover madness

Been getting the paintbrushes out here lots :O)

We've had a little side table that sits at the side of our couch for years. I think it's supposed to be a plant stand but we cought it ages ago from Ikea when we got our first (and only brand new) sofa, which was a really low futon, so it was ok that it was so little. Now we live in a shoebox and it's useful in that it just fits this tiny space. However, as usual, it was getting a little grubby. I only just remembered the before pic!

A couple of coats of a nice bright blue (get your sunglasses on!!) and it's looking much fresher!

I've already made a start on 2 other things which I'll get photos of once I'm done. It's a bit addictive this painting furniture isn't it?

I completely nabbed Little Gem's idea of covering a boiler with some nice retro stuff. I need some more nice magnets and a few more bits to cover it, but hubby really liked it when he saw it, so must have been a good idea!! Pity I didn't think of it myself!!

And a couple of more pretties to add:

I can't say I made this, although I had though of making one for a while. I had nothing suitable at home to make it with and I figured that by the time I 'd faffed around and bought stuff, left it hanging round for a while and eventually got round to it it would be next year before I got onto it! And this one was really reasonable from Ebay so I went for it. It's CK Rosali as far as I'm aware and is a perfect place to put all my nice little cards I've been lucky enough to get recently :O)

And finally my first 2 bits in my new collection of Utility China. I'd seen this stuff on various blogs and really liked the pastel shades so decided I'd like to collect it. I got the green Beryl Woods Ware plate from a car boot a couple of weeks ago now and saw the blue Johnson Bros teapot at the charity shop last weekend. Oh well, you've got to start a collection off somewhere!